The Danny Bastos Collective takes momentum from their EP and pushes on toward a new LP

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Conor O’Neills - February 5
Zio Romolo’s Alley Bar - February 7
Park House - February 21
Lola’s Denver - February 22
Casselman’s - February 25

By J.D. Rodgers

 

Danny Bastos is restless—and it’s no particular mystery as to why. With his band’s most recent EP, the self-titled The DBC, still in its infancy and a 13-show tour that kicked off late last month, he is presented with what he believes may very well be the band’s biggest opportunity yet to ascend a rung or two on the slippery ladder that is rock and roll prominence.

“Our goal, kind of, is to really jump onto the music scene and say, ‘Here we are. This is what we’re about,’” Bastos said in a recent interview with The Marquee.

Since their formation and the release of their first album, Living the Dream, in 2012, The Danny Bastos Collective have been busy gigging around the Denver area and loading up their arsenal with a diverse array of modern jazz, soul, rock and funk.

As the first person in his bloodline born in the States, Bastos has spent his entire life within earshot of the traditionally vibrant music of his family’s homeland, Brazil. A self-described “musical person of the world,” he is the chief songwriter and general head honcho of the Collective; it is his brainchild and his passion, and at the core of The DBC’s music, that South American influence can almost always be heard. It is what makes the band unique, especially in today’s world, where countless jam/funk outfits have emerged and all but taken over a rather large portion of the Colorado music scene.

The Collective, though, is not just Danny Bastos, but a group that he sees as a team. “I kind of think of the band like a sports team,” he said. “You’ve got your first stringers, who are the core group — the official band — and then when occasionally one of them can’t play, for whatever reason, there’s the backups. I’ve got a handful of friends who are all great musicians and know the material and everything, and so they can fill in if we ever need them.”

The official lineup of The DBC, aside from Bastos, consists of Carrie McCune (trumpet), Sean Culliton (tenor sax), Jon Kenney (trombone), Johnny Bosbyshell (piano/keyboards), Chris Beck (piano/keyboard/organ), John Bunting (percussion/vocals), Alex Scott (bass guitar) and Matt McElwain (drums/vocals). Despite the plethora of hands, no one in the Collective is ever left to idley play along in the background.

Bastos cites Phish — “specifically early Phish” — as a major influence on his songwriting. “I think of songs like ‘You Enjoy Myself’ and ‘Divided Sky,’ in particular, where most of it is very tightly composed and just extremely well written, but then there are also those moments of empty space where the musicians really get to improvise and explore the music,” he said.

With that exploration in mind, the group’s new EP The DBC, finds the band confidently hammering through songs they’ve been playing live for a while now. Each track is tried and true, developed onstage and dialed-in in the studio. Despite the EP’s recent release, the group isn’t ready to rest on their laurels. Following a series of Colorado shows to release the EP, The DBC will hit the road for a short tour that will ultimately land them comfortably at their band retreat in Taos, N.M., where they will immediately begin recording their second LP.

To accompany the release of the LP, The DBC plan to release a documentary chronicling the recording and production process. Bastos’ company, Collective Multi-Media, which was just launched at the beginning of January, will carry out the project. It will be the Collective Multi-Media’s first piece of work, and will fittingly place The DBC as the company’s flagship outfit. Ultimately, the company’s goal is to bring a variety of other bands, artists, videographers, photographers, painters, and graphic designers into the Collective. “I truly feel that to succeed, you can never do it alone,” he said, “and I want to help the people in the greater Denver music scene who have helped me get to where I am.”

 

Danny Bastos Collective

Conor O’Neills – February 5

Zio Romolo’s Alley Bar – February 7

Park House – February 21

Lola’s Denver – February 22

Casselman’s – February 25

 

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